Saturday, January 26, 2008

Little Rock Desegregation (USA)

Elizabeth Eckford is one of the African American students known as the Little Rock Nine. On September 4, 1957, she and eight other African American students attempted to enter Little Rock Central High School, which had previously only accepted white students. They were stopped at the door by Arkansas National Guard troops called up by Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus. They tried again without success to attend Central High on September 23, 1957. The next day, September 24, President Dwight D. Eisenhower sent U.S. Army troops to accompany the Little Rock Nine to school for protection.

The thing is… she is not the subject of the photograph. Will Counts, the photographer, shot Hazel Massery, the white girl shouting in front of the man. 40 years later she apologized to Elizabeth.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Tuvalu: Climate Refugees (Tuvalu)

Tuvalu is one of the smallest and most remote countries on earth. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it can barely be seen on most maps. The country is in danger of disappearing beneath the waves. Not an Atlantis myth but the reality of this century.
Plans for evacuation are being made right now.
Tuvalu is destined to become one of earth’s first nations to be washed away due to the effect of global warming, making the Tuvaluans the first complete nation of climate refugees, banned from their home-islands, their culture and identity taken away.

Tuvalu's nine islands are little more than thin ribbon-like atolls scattered in the immensity of the Pacific Ocean.
At their highest point, they stand no more than four metres (13 feet) above sea level and if predictions of rising sea levels caused by global warming are correct, they could be wiped out within 50 years.

"We keep thinking that the time will never come. The alternative is to turn ourselves into fish and live under water," Tuvalu Deputy Prime Tavau Teii told Reuters in the South Korean capital where he was attending a conference on the environment.

"All countries must make an effort to reduce their emissions before it is too late for countries like Tuvalu," he said, calling the country one of the most vulnerable in the world to man-made climate change.

This could also be the fate of other Pacific Islanders as well. Besides Tuvalu, Kiribati, Vanuatu and the Marshall Islands are considered at risk, though true disaster is still at least decades away.

The sea is increasingly invading underground fresh water supplies, creating problems for farmers, while drought constantly threatened to limit drinking water.
Annual spring tides appear to be getting higher each year, eroding the coastline. As the coral reefs die, that protection goes and the risk only increases.
And the mounting ferocity of cyclones from a warmer ocean also brought greater risks, he said, noting another island state in the area had been buffeted by waves three years ago that crashed over its 30 meter cliffs.

Teii said his government had received indications from New Zealand it was prepared to take in people from the islands. About 2,000 of its population already live there.
"Australia was very reluctant to make a commitment even though they have been approached in a diplomatic way."


Sunday, January 20, 2008

First Man on the Moon (Moon)

At 2:56 UTC on 21 July 1969, Neil Armstrong made his descent to the Moon's surface and spoke his famous line "That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind" exactly six and a half hours after landing. Buzz Aldrin joined him, saying, "Beautiful. Beautiful. Magnificent desolation". Then for two-and-a-half hours, they took notes, photographed what they saw, and drilled core samples.
An estimated 500 million people worldwide watched this event live, the largest television audience for a single broadcast ever to date.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Nguyễn Văn Lém (Vietnam)

Nguyễn Văn Lém (referred to as Captain Bay Lop) (died 1 February 1968) was a member of the Viet Cong who was executed in Saigon during the Tet Offensive.
The execution was captured on film by photojournalist Eddie Adams, and the momentous image became a symbol of the hostility of war.
The execution was explained at the time as being the consequence of Lém's suspected guerilla activity and war crimes, and otherwise due to a general "wartime mentality."

On the second day of Tet, amid fierce street fighting, Lém was captured and brought to Brigadier General Nguyễn Ngoc Loan, then Chief of the Republic of Viet Nam National Police. Using his personal sidearm, General Loan summarily executed Lém in front of AP photographer Eddie Adams and NBC television cameraman Vo Suu. The photograph and footage were broadcast worldwide, galvanizing the anti-war movement; Adams won a 1969 Pulitzer Prize for his photograph.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster (USA)

The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster occurred in the United States, off the coast of central Florida, at 11:39 a.m. EST (16:39 UTC) on 28 January 1986. The Space Shuttle Challenger disintegrated 73 seconds into its flight after an O-ring seal in its right solid rocket booster (SRB) failed at liftoff.

The shuttle was destroyed and all seven crew members were killed. The crew compartment and many other vehicle fragments were eventually recovered from the ocean floor after a lengthy search and recovery operation.

This photograph, taken a few seconds after the accident, shows the Space Shuttle Main Engines and Solid Rocket Booster exhaust plumes entwined around a ball of gas from the External Tank. Because shuttle launches had become almost routine after twenty-four successful missions, those watching the shuttle launch in person and on television found the sight of the explosion especially shocking and difficult to believe until NASA confirmed the accident.

Many viewed the launch live due to the presence on the crew of Christa McAuliffe, the first member of the Teacher in Space Project. Media coverage of the accident was extensive: one study reported that 85 percent of Americans surveyed had heard the news within an hour of the accident.

The crew: Front row, from left to right: Michael J. Smith, Dick Scobee, and Ronald McNair. Back row, from left to right: Ellison Onizuka, Christa McAuliffe, Gregory Jarvis, Judith Resnik.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Tenzing on Summit (Nepal)

Edmund Hillary took this photograph of Tenzing Norgay as they became the first human beings to set foot on the summit of Mt. Everest, the highest point on earth.

In 1953, a British expedition travelled to Nepal. John Hunt (who led the expedition) selected two climbing pairs to attempt to reach the summit. The first pair (Tom Bourdillon and Charles Evans) came within 300 feet of the summit on 26 May, but turned back after becoming exhausted. Two days later, the expedition made its second and final assault on the summit with its second climbing pair. The summit was eventually reached at 11:30 a.m. local time on 29 May 1953 by the New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay from Nepal climbing the South Col Route.
At the time, both acknowledged it as a team effort by the whole expedition, but Tenzing revealed a few years later that Hillary had put his foot on the summit first. They paused at the summit to take photographs and buried a few sweets and a small cross in the snow before descending.

Upon returning to Kathmandu a few days later, Hillary and Hunt discovered that they had been promptly knighted in the Order of the British Empire for their efforts. Hillary became a founding member of the Order of New Zealand. Tenzing was granted the George Medal for his efforts.

On 11 January 2008, Sir Edmund Hillary died of heart failure at the Auckland City Hospital, New Zealand, at around 9 am NZDT at the age of 88.

Tenzing died of a bronchial condition in Darjeeling, West Bengal, India on 9 May 1986, aged 71.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Falling Man (USA)

The Falling Man is the title of a story about a photograph taken by Richard Drew at 9:41:15 a.m., on 11 September 2001 showing one of the many people jumping from the WTC towers.

The photograph provoked feelings of anger in the immediate aftermath of the September 11 attacks, particularly in the United States. It ran only once in many American newspapers because they received critical and angry letters from readers who felt the photo was "exploitative, voyeuristic and disrespectful" of the dead. This led to the media's self-censorship of the photograph, preferring instead to print photos of acts of heroism and sacrifice.

Drew commented about the varying reactions, saying, "This is how it affected people's lives at that time, and I think that is why it's an important picture. I didn't capture this person's death. I captured part of his life. This is what he decided to do, and I think I preserved that."

Five years after the attacks, Jonathan Briley, a 43-year-old employee of the Windows on the World, was identified by chef Michael Lomonaco as The Falling Man. Briley was a sound engineer who lived outside of Manhattan, in Mount Vernon, and worked in the North Tower restaurant.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima and Ground Zero (Japan and USA)

Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima is a historic photograph taken on 23 February 1945, by Joe Rosenthal. It depicts five US Marines and a US Navy corpsman raising the flag of the United States atop Mount Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II.

It became the only photograph to win the Pilitzer Prize for Photography in the same year as its publication, and ultimately came to be regarded as one of the most significant and recognizable images of the war, and possibly the most reproduced photograph of all time.

Of the six men depicted in the picture, three (Franklin Sousley, Harlon Block and Michael Strank) did not survive the battle; the three survivors (John Bradley, Rene Gagnon and Ira Hayes) became celebrities upon the publication of the photo. The picture was later used by Felix de Weldon to sculpt the USMC War Memorial, located outside Washington D.C.

Raising the Flag at Ground Zero is a photograph by Thomas E. Franklin, taken on 11 September 2001. The picture shows three firefighters raising the American Flag at ground zero of the World Trade Centre following the 11 September 2001 attacks.

The firefighters pictured were Brooklyn-based firefighters George Johnson of Rockway Beach and Dan McWilliams of Long Island (both from Ladder 157), and Billy Eisengrein of Staten Island (Rescue 2).

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Inhlazane Brutality (South Africa)

Inhlazane, Soweto, 15th September, 1990. An ANC supporter hacks at a burning Lindsaye Tshabalala as a young boy flees. This was one of a series of photographs that won the Pulitzer Prize for Spot News in 1990.

Inhlazane, Soweto, 15 September, 1990. An ANC supporter prepares to plunge a knife into Lindsaye Tshabalala, a suspected Inkatha supporter, during clashes at the start of the Hostel War.

Greg Sebastian Marinovich (born 1962) is an award-winning South African photojournalist, film maker, photo editor, and member of the Bang-Bang Club.
He co-authored the book
The Bang-Bang Club, which details South Africa's transition to democracy.
He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography in 1991 for his coverage of ANC supporters brutally murdering a man they believed to be a Zulu spy.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Omayra Sánchez (Colombia)

Omayra Sánchez was one of the 25,000 victims of the Nevado del Ruiz (Colombia) volcano which erupted on November 14, 1985. The 13-year old had been trapped in water and concrete for 3 days. The picture was taken shortly before she died and it caused controversy due to the photographer’s work and the Colombian government’s inaction in the midst of the tragedy, when it was published worldwide after the young girl’s death.

Omayra was trapped up to her neck in water, concrete, and other debris for three days before she succumbed to gangrene and hypothermia. During three nights of agony, Omayra seemed strong but was suffering. According to Cristina Echandia, a journalist who kept records of the events, Omayra sang and had normal conversations with the people who were trying to help her. The little girl was thirsty and scared. On the third night, Omayra began hallucinating, saying that she did not want to be late for school. At some point she asked the people to leave her so they could rest.

Television coverage of the disaster introduced her to the world when she was still alive. The photo shown here was taken hours before her death and published after her death.

The volcano is still active, according to the Volcano Watch Center in Colombia. However, at this point no other city or town remains close enough to be seriously affected in the event of an eruption. The only city, Armero, no longer exists and was turned into a memorial of the disaster where only crosses can be seen.

Omayra Sanchez herself remains in the memory of those who followed her suffering and tragic death. Some local newspapers commemorated both the 20 years of the volcanic eruption as well as Omayra's death, and her case was also mentioned in TV and radio commemorations. Nonetheless, no specific monument has been created in her name as of yet.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin